On Nov. 8, Mike’s Auto Body celebrated Veteran’s Day at its Fairfield, CA a few days early by presenting two completely refurbished vehicles to active military families who are stationed at Travis Air Force Base. It was all part of Mike’s annual Benevolence program, which is a community relations program whose mission is to present refurbished “new” used cars to deserving individuals or organizations. The company is proud of its involvement with the NABC™ Recycled Rides® program for the past five years because it’s a nationally acclaimed and highly-respected organization.
Both of the Benevolence vehicles were covered and adorned with red, white, and blue bows as more than 100 business partners, vendors, local political representatives, Mike’s employees, and insurance companies were on hand for the presentation.
USAF Veteran Chris Coffle received a 2018 KIA Soul that was donated by the Hertz Corporation and refurbished by the crew at our Vallejo location. In addition, TSgt. Carlos Carvagal Molina received a 2016 Toyota Forerunner that was donated by USAA Insurance and refurbished by the crew at our Fairfield store.
Recipient USAF Veteran Chris Coffelt, married and with two daughters, wrote a brief one-page application letter that made an impact with all of the people at Mike’s Auto Body. “Owning a reliable car to means…FREEDOM,” Coffelt wrote. “It means I’m free of worry, free to be safe, and free of the financial burden that is owning an unreliable car brings. I currently own a 2004 Mazda 6 with over 160,000—it drives, but it has many issues, and it makes me nervous about driving on the highway. Whether our family receives the car or another military family, it’s a blessing what you’re doing for the military community.”
“Normally I would have been happy with free pancakes and a car wash on Veterans Day,” Coffelt said during the car presentation. Getting a car, he said, take it to a new level.”
Recipient TSgt. Carlos Carvagal Molina is an Air Force active duty member who has been serving our country for 12 years now. He is married with a daughter and a daughter who is starting school. When he found out that his mother-in-law has cancer, Molina and his family moved to Northern California. Their lives changed in many ways because now they’re taking care of their mother-in-law as she takes chemotherapy treatments, With only one vehicle, taking care of her became problematic, so Molina’s refurbished Benevolence car is much needed, he said. “Everything in life happens for a reason, and we know this situation would get better. I want to thank all of the people at Mike’s Auto Body for this amazing vehicle because it’s going to make our lives a lot better in many ways.”
The program opened with a moving invocation by Sal Contreras followed by the colors presented by the Napa Post 113 Legion Guard; American the Beautiful played on the bagpipes by Kristopher Muse (Mike’s Technician); the National Anthem played by the Vanden High School Band directed by Mason St. Pierre; Fairfield’s Mayor Harry Price, “Thank You for Your Service” presented by Mike’s Marketing Director Dane Dearlove and speeches made by Senior Field Representative for Congressman Garamendi Jack Batchelor; Nicole Stinnett of Operation Care and Comfort (North Bay); Adam Redfield of Sumaria Systems, Project Manager, Travis AFB Telecommunications Systems; Jacob Bender, MSgt Officer Associations Flight Chief 348th Recruiting Squadron, E Flight; Kristle Bollans of Hertz Corporation and David F. Morrissey USAF (Ret.), Senior Military Affairs, USAA Insurance and Carlos Carvagal Molina, TSgt USAF Health Professions Recruiting 348th Squadron.
Just like at every Benevolence event since day one, Mike’s Auto Body’s program Director Sal Contreras made a few welcoming and closing remarks. “We never get tired of giving vehicles to deserving people in the military, and this year was special because we were able to give away two cars,” he said. “By providing these recipients with these cars, we’re giving them the gift of transportation that offers them independence and a chance to improve their lives. We call this a hand up rather than a handout because we have seen these vehicles enabled people to do great things.”
The company’s next Benevolence presentation of 2019 is scheduled for December 11 at their Antioch ADAC location, where they will give away four more vehicles, making it a total of 88 cars since 2000.
Mike’s Auto Body Benevolence program is a “community give-back program” whose mission is to present cars to deserving individuals or organizations during the holiday season. Everything is donated, including the cars, parts, paint, mechanical inspections, tires and one full year of insurance. The body and paint technicians at Mike’s Auto Body donate their time and skills to turn these cars into pristine “new” used vehicles.
Special thanks to Fairfield’s Manager Cory Flies and Office Manager Krishauna Crites and technicians Thomas Wilson, Fernando Vallencia, Nick Salas, Shawn Teeter, Sheldon Ludlow, Arturo Ramos, Robert Maeder, Jason Wright and Christopher Ferrer who worked on the 2016 Toyota Forerunner that was presented to TSgt. Carlos Carvagal Molina. Vendor partners for the Forerunner include John L. Sullivan Toyota, MAB Towing Big Discount Tire Pros, Napa Auto Parts (West Texas Location), FinishMaster and Dan’s Glass & Dent Express.
Special thanks to Manager Nino Apostol and Office Manager Mariah Snyder and technicians Robert Tuttle, Ryan Griswold, Jose Castillo, Daniel Gutierrez, Kristopher Muse, Gary Bissitt, Erik Hernandez , Mauricio Ramirez and Jason Cobb who helped to refurbish the 2018 KIA Soul for the Coffelt family. Vendor partners for the Soul include LKQ Corp/Keystone Concord Auto Dismantlers Vallejo Nissan Wise Auto Group John L. Sullivan Kia FinishMaster and MAB Towing.
Also appeared in Autobody News